Friday, March 9, 2012

Who's Joseph Kony? - Kony 2012

My 14-year old niece asked me, "So, what's the deal with Joseph Kony?"

She is a pretty smart kid and knows I like politics and world affairs, so I felt a little stupid when I didn't know exactly who Joseph Kony was and why I should know about him. To make it worse, my smartphone battery had died, so that part of my brain that is stored on my mobile/computer devices was not with me at the moment. I was way too embarrassed to ask for her phone, because she would go on for hours about how she stumped me.

So as soon as I got home to Google I immediately recognized the name of Joseph Kony's cult army, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda. They had been the subject of the only legislation I can remember that passed unanimously in both houses of congress last year without a hitch. The president even sent in 100 military "advisers" to train resistance fighters against the LRA in October of 2011.

The LRA has made appearances in the news over the course of its 25 year history. The LRA has been portrayed in fictional movies like Casino Royale and true event movies like Machine Gun Preacher in which a priest battles the atrocities committed by Joeph Kony in neighboring Sudan. Even LOST had a reference to a very similar LRA-type group in Nigeria in the flashback of the life of Mr. Eko in the episode entitled, The 23rd Psalm.

What are examples of the atrocities you ask?

Well, Kony and his group are responsible for terrorizing two nations (Uganda and Sudan) in the name of a radicalized version of Christianity they would like to establish as government. The LRA have been linked to crimes against civilians that include killings, mutilations, rape, and in some accounts even cannibalism. The most horrific are the serial kidnapping and enslavement of the children of Uganda. After kidnapping the innocent Kony and his men force the young boys into the LRA army ordering them to kill their parents and brutally mutilate other children in their tribes. The LRA take the young, very underage girls and turn them into sex slaves. In 25 years, Kony has kidnapped close to 39,000 children and subjected them to this living hell.

So, what is Joseph Kony's purpose for his army of tortured and tormented children? As far as anyone can tell it is to establish a radical Christian theocracy in Uganda. Deputy-Chief of the LRA, Vincent Otti was quoted as describing the LRA's vision and mission, as follows:

"Lord’s Resistance Army is just the name of the movement, because we are fighting in the name of God. God is the one helping us in the bush. That’s why we created this name, Lord’s Resistance Army. And people always ask us, are we fighting for the [biblical] Ten Commandments of God. That is true – because the Ten Commandments of God is the constitution that God has given to the people of the world. All people. If you go to the constitution, nobody will accept people who steal, nobody could accept to go and take somebody’s wife, nobody could accept to innocently kill, or whatever. The Ten Commandments carries all this."

Vincent Otti did not comment on the hypocrisy of the actions of the LRA, which violate almost all of the Ten Commandments. Otti was probably too busy eating a kidnapped child, while raping a young girl all on the altar of a church deep in Uganda and, of course, all in the name of the Lord. This cannot be verified, but it is my best guess as to what his response to anything would be since these LRA leaders are all batshit crazy religious fanatics. We all remember the all-stars of this select group of crazy: Jim Jones, Charlie Manson, Osama Bin Laden, The Fellowship, Adolf Hitler, Rush Limbaugh, Pope Gregory IX, Pope Innocent III & IV, Tomás de Torquemada and Bernard Gui to name a precious few.

As though his recent remarks on birth control were not enough, Rush Limbaugh even came out in support of Joseph Kony and the LRA in 2011 as a victim of President Obama's "War on Christianity". On October 14, 2011, Rush Limbaugh, political commentator and blubbery mass of drug-addicted flesh, questioned the U.S. move against the LRA on the grounds that the, "Lord's Resistance Army are Christians. They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan. And Obama has sent troops, United States troops to remove them from the battlefield, which means kill them." "So that’s a new war, a hundred troops to wipe out Christians in Sudan, Uganda." Later, Limbaugh stated that he would research the group as he was made aware of accusations of their atrocities. Contrary to this assertion, however, he later allowed his show's written transcript to be posted on his website under the title "Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians."

It should be our goal to rid the world of both Joseph Kony and supporters of his terror (Rush Limbaugh).

Back to my niece and her thought-provoking question. I quickly found out it was part of a giant movement to make the world aware of Joseph Kony called Kony 2012. I was so happy that her generation was the one driving this movement through what I consider one of the more self-serving sides of the internet, the social networks. Other youth in other countries have used social networks to drive movements and change, but this was the first time that my niece and her friends weren't just texting junk, watching TMZ or checking the latest gossip on FB. They were actually perpetuating a greater cause than themselves. I finally saw a glimmering light in the future generation that I was worried would never ignite until now. It was a great day.

On that note, watch the already hugely popular video below to learn more about what you can do to stop the atrocities of the LRA:

Go to Kony 2012 and download your kit and donate to support the cause against Joseph Kony, The Lord's Resistance Army and all religious extremism in general (and we might as well add Rush Limbaugh to the list as well).

Video: Courtesy of Kony 2012 and YouTube. All Rights Reserved. Not responsible for third-party content.

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